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Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease occurs when the arteries that run to the heart become damaged or diseased.  The damage occurs when plaques, or fatty deposits, buildup on the artery walls.  These deposits narrow the arteries, causing your heart to receive less blood.  Eventually complete blockage can occur, causing a heart attack.

Causes

The causes of coronary artery disease relate to the reason plaques are building up on the walls of the arteries.  These include:

  • Smoking
  • A diet high in certain fats and cholesterol
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High amounts of sugar in the blood (insulin resistance or diabetes)
  • Radiation therapy to the chest

Treatments

Treatment of coronary artery disease is highly individualized as each patient may have varying degrees of the disease.  Only you and your doctor can map out a proper treatment regimen.  Treatment options include:

  • Medications- cholesterol-lowering medications, aspirin, beta-blockers, nitroglycerin, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors and certain vitamins
  • Heart catheterization
  • Coronary angioplasty and stents
  • Radiation brachytherapy
  • Atherectomy
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Regular exercise
  • Smoking cessation
  • Heart-healthy diet and nutrition
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Regular medical check-ups

Prognosis

Every case, just like every treatment plan, is different.  While coronary artery disease can lead to a heart attack or heart failure some sufferers can and do make a full recovery and avoid such events.

Many people can make improvements in their lifestyle by changing their diet, quitting smoking, exercising regularly and taking prescribed medications.  However, others, despite their best efforts, will need invasive medical procedures such as angioplasty or surgery.

If you have coronary artery disease you may be able to apply for and win disability benefits.  Please contact a representative at Disability Help Group today for your free consultation.

Helpful Links

http://www.americanheart.org/

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/